Part 10: Batman Returns
You know, that is a very good question!
The answer to which is that he ended up here, next to a convenient little cabin.
Talking to the dog causes Matt to run and hide.
Matt is a brave man.
(But if you're going to hide behind something, Batman is probably a better choice than most.)
Talking to Batman isn't quite as scary.
You... another traveler?
You don't happen to know how I could get to Narshe, do you? I got separated from my friends.
The Empire has set up camp just beyond the forest to the east.
The Empire!? What are they doing here?
They seem to have their eyes on Doma Castle.
So Doma's next, huh...? But I need to get to Narshe right away!
You'd think Matt would have learned some patience during all that martial arts training, but no, he's a musclehead all right.
Your only road passes through Doma. I can take you there if you like.
Just know that I may leave you at any time...
That is a trick question, isn't it? You don't turn down the Goddamn Batman.
Or his dog.
Death is always just a step behind me...
Which is exactly where you want it. If Death gets in front of you, it can get terribly messy.
Oh, and guess who stripped Indy and Meryl of their relics before fighting the Tunnel Armour? Energy-based Blitz techniques fall under "magic" damage, meaning this boosts Aura Cannon's damage by 25%.
Let's take a look inside the building.
You the clockmaker? I been waitin' for ages!
This is generic dialogue; it doesn't actually show a name, so it's just assumed someone in the party talks. It shows up in a few other places, too.
There she is, hangin' up on that wall over there! Ain't been tickin' for a year now! Five years, was it?
Shucks, maybe it's been ten, I don't remember!
Clearly, we need to talk to him again!
Oh, got it!
Lawnmower repairman, eh? Couldn't provide worse service! Grass's fifty feet high out back!
No more lip, repairman! Fix that stove, on the double!
It'll be on your conscience when I freeze to death!
I kind of feel sorry for him. We can at least take a look at it.
That... could have gone better.
Oh, for pity's sake...! And you call yourself a repairman! Causing trouble just like a kid...
A kid? I don't have any kids! Ugh, why'd you have to bring up kids? Makes me sick just thinkin' about it!
I think it's time for you to leave now! Go on, git! Or I'll toss you out onto the Veldt, too!
I think Matt (or possibly Batman) is speaking for all of us.
And with that, we're kicked out.
This guy sells stuff.
I buy like a million shurik... batarangs. They're almost insultingly cheap, but that's good since they're one-use items. (Apparently digging them out of his victims is too much work for Batman.)
There are new enemies in this area, but they're all vulnerable to being dropped on their heads...
...or perforated, so the walk to Doma is really nothing special.
Here's the imperial camp.
I put Batman in charge of this section because he's probably more stealthy than Matt.
It's the return of the conversation-between-identical-sprites problem! So I'm recycling the Biggs and Wedge sprites. B is for Black, and A is for... White, okay.
Oh, you mean-
Shhh! Keep your voice down! If Kefka catches us, we're toast!
They say Kefka's plotting to drive away General Leo so he can take over his position as general...
Don't even joke about something like that. If that freak becomes our general, I'll quit!
Shhh! What if he hears you? You'll be locked up!
All right, all right!
Hey, you! You keeping a sharp lookout? Hmm?
Yes, sir! Kefka, sir! What a pleasant surprise! How are you today, sir?
Please, spare me your petty small talk! Just do your job!
And don't let me catch you slacking, of I'll make you regret being born!
Kefka waddles off, cackling to himself.
What's wrong with that guy, anyway?
It's like General Leo got all the good qualities a man could have, and Kefka got stuck with the rest...
Shhh! I just told you to keep it down! How many times are you gonna make me say it?
You've gotta be more careful! General Leo may be a decent man, but Kefka... that guy's twisted!
Tell me about it...
They actually do a pretty good job of building character for these throwaway NPCs, which makes it kind of sad that they're just about to rush to their deaths.
The two of you will join the assault squad. Get moving!
As you can see.
(Here's where my "black and white sprites" deal kind of falls apart.)
They exchange looks, and follow the captain out to the south.
Cut to Doma Castle, which has seen better days, but it still holding out against the siege.
The soldiers begin to throw themselves uselessly against the fortified walls, and for some reason this really worries the defenders.
So, this is it...
It's a person with a unique sprite!
And you all know what that means...
...but this update is pretty short. Thus:
This scenario is short.
A few more seconds on the river, another couple of encounters utterly trivialized by Banon's mad elite skills.
Then you're dumped right outside Narshe. Shortest scenario ever.
Oh, if only.
By the way, riding a chocobo as Banon would cause a graphical glitch in the SNES game. In the remake, it just shows Aeris riding it instead.
Like so. I suppose that was easier than to fix his actual sprite sheet...
Narshe, then. The guards still remember Aeris...
Please, I can explain!
Get out of here now, or you'll regret it!
I don't know if they're brave or just stupid, but while Aeris could just set them all on fire, that would rather make a bad impression.
Especially after the whole "invasion" thing.
Anyway, the guard punches the old man hard enough to knock him back like ten meters, which is pretty impressive for a nameless mook.
You'd think these guys would know the king of the country within spitting distance, but...
...he gets the same treatment as Banon.
Aeris decides not to push her luck.
And that, my friends, is why I can't stand men. It's like they don't even have ears!
I'm sorry, it's all my fault...
No one even bothers to tell her she's wrong. If it didn't work the first 78 times, it's not going to work now.
Instead, we just head over to the left, after abusing the newbie school's free healing pot.
He fiddled with something...
Yes, he told me. Twist this stone like so, and...
And so we have to walk through these caves again. Enemies that were pathetically easy with just Aeris are even less threatening now.
There's also a "puzzle" in here, though I use the term lightly. The light moves in a certain pattern, and you have to follow it...
This must be the place...
There's a room in here they use to test applicants to the city guard.
We should be fine as long as we follow the light. If we make a mistake, lights will surround us.
Then we'll have to tag the glimmering orange light to proceed.
He means like this. If we hit one of the white lights...
...we're ambushed by a couple of weaklings.
So let's get it right.
This place looks familiar...
And here are our old buddies the moogles! Fortunately, they don't seem mad about those things Indy pilfered.
There's also a chest here that, again, we're going to leave alone, and I'm not the least bit sorry to see it go. Pfft, as if anyone's going to use physical attacks.
The moogle cave leads to just outside where Aeris fell down a hole on her first trip through, and pretty soon we're back up here again. It's so much nicer when you're not being hunted by jackasses.
"Old Man" from the intro has a name now! I suppose he was in too much of a hurry to introduce himself last time. Or maybe it's a different old man with the same sprite. These things happen.
Arvis! How do things stand here in Narshe?
Same as always. The town's neutral. Iv'e tried to convince them to side with the Returners, but it's no use.
Of course, maybe with you and the king of Figaro here...
How are the townspeople?
Everyone's been a little on edge since the esper was discovered.
Well, the townspeople are still quite curious about it as well.
If we approach them in the right way, there's a good chance they'll agree to let her see it.
This kind of stuff is exactly why I feel it's worth playing the GBA version alongside the SNES thread. Just compare this sequence between the two versions - it's really much nicer in Advance.
...although the last line is still the same, except for the punctuation.
This guy needs a name.